AmaWaterways is taking travelers on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise through the history, beauty, simplicity, and joyful personality of Cambodia and Vietnam. Reaching areas along the shores of the Mekong River seldom visited on traditional land itineraries, while sprinkling in the must-see locations, the crew of the 124-passenger AmaDara has crafted a program tailor-made to just about anyone, from nature lovers and history buffs to the sometimes hardest-to-please travelers – kids!
The 7-night Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City itinerary is aptly titled “The Riches of the Mekong.” The itinerary is also offered in reverse-direction, beginning in Ho Chi Minh City and ending in Siem Reap. While guests will certainly see their fair share of gold and other material riches throughout the palaces and monasteries, they will also experience riches of another kind – those of the people who call these countries home. From visiting a school and meeting its students to wheeling and dealing their way through the exciting floating markets and witnessing a Buddhist blessing, this itinerary is sure to bring about a change in perspective.
Nature lovers will marvel at the birds and wildlife along the Sap River and thoroughly enjoy the oxcart tour of the infamous rice paddies. While not humanity’s most shining moment, history aficionados will be captivated by a visit to Cambodia’s Killing Fields, along with a detention center (and now museum) of the Khmer Rouge regime.
While much of the natural beauty of these countries is best seen from remote areas, the cities are packed with history and splendor as well. You’ll visit the Royal Palace and National Museum in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, and the Buddhist monastery in Oudong (Cambodia’s former capital). For passengers with a passion for literature, a visit to noted French writer Marguerite Duras’ former home is included in this well-rounded itinerary, in the town of Sa Dec.
The ship itself, the two-year-old AmaDara, holds a modest 124 passengers and is staffed by 52 crew members. It features 2 restaurants, a fitness center, multiple spa locations, a hair salon, and a pool with sun deck. All suites and staterooms have private balconies, perfect for experiencing the immense beauty of this region.